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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wants the Blue Jays to bring back the Home Run Jacket

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Brennan Delaney
29 days ago
Could a relic of the past come back in 2024?
In a recent interview with Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would like the home run jacket to return.
The jacket was created in the summer of 2021 by Hector LeBron, a Blue Jays staff member. If you can recall, it was part of the Blue Jays celebration after a homerun, as the jacket was placed on the player who just hit a home run by their teammate.
Prior to the start of the 2023 season, manager John Schneider told The Toronto Sun’s Rob Longley that the jacket would be no more, and that the team was going to be “a fun team that’s going to scrape and claw and find ways to win games.” It, uh, didn’t work that well.
In 2021, the season the jacket was introduced, the Blue Jays hit 262 homers, which was first in the league and clear by 20 homers. It’s not as if there was a ton of swing and miss either, as their 20.1 K% that season was the second lowest in the league. 
That year, Guerrero Jr. hit a career-high 48 home runs, Marcus Semien hit a career-high 45 home runs, Teoscar Hernández hit a career-high 32 home runs, Bo Bichette hit a career-high 29 home runs, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a career-high 21 home runs, only surpassing that total in 2023 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Moreover, Randal Grichuk and George Springer both hit 22 home runs, with the latter doing so in 342 plate appearances.
In hindsight, what a season the 2021 Jays had, and if it weren’t for an incredibly weak pitching staff to start the season, who knows what would’ve happened if they made the playoffs. It gives me nightmares thinking about that final day.
The 2022 season was supposed to be even better, but in terms of the long ball, they finished with 200, or the seventh-most in the league. Guerrero Jr. still led the team, but his total dropped to 32. Matt Chapman hit 27 home runs, Springer and Hernández each hit 25, Bo Bichette hit 24, while Danny Jansen hit 15 (in 248 plate appearances) and Alejandro Kirk hit 14. The home run jacket was still in use and the Jays even made the playoffs that season, but we know how that went.
In 2023, the Blue Jays only had 12 fewer home runs, but Guerrero Jr.’s 26 home runs was the most from any player on the team. Springer hit 21, Bichette hit 20, as did newly acquired Daulton Varsho. Designated hitter Brandon Belt hit 19 home runs, with Chapman and Danny Jansen each hitting 17. The only other double-digit home run hitter was Whit Merrifield.
Of course, the jacket is just a jacket, it doesn’t drive the ball to deep left field or anything. However, the philosophy of the team has evidently changed, especially with Don Mattingly as the Jays offensive coordinator. They’re looking to drive in runs with singles and walks, something that they struggled with last season. Maybe, just maybe, the long ball is a tried and tested formula to success.
Bring back the jacket.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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